TAKING STOCK

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o Thorn EMI continues to generate excitement and the shares shot- up 41p to a high of pounds 15.68 in early dealings, as a rumour circulated that Rupert Murdoch was keen to buy the company's music business. The media baron has previously made known his interest in a music business and will not have the field to himself. Disney and Viacom are also in the hunt, and there is a growing belief that either may mount a full blown pounds 17 a share bid for Thorn EMI. Shares finally closed at pounds 15.27, up 10p.

o There was talk that Norcros was about to dispose of its printing and packaging operations. API, steady at 514p, and Bemrose, also unchanged at 397p, are tipped as the likely buyers. Norcros shares stand at 84p, a far cry from the 209p they traded at early last year.

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